Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris, April 19, 2013)

 

Mr. Laurent Fabius’s participation in the meeting of the Friends of the Syrian People group in Istanbul (April 20, 2013)
Firing of rockets on southern Israel
Mr. Thierry Repentin’s participation in the Foreign Affairs Council meeting (Luxembourg, April 22, 2013)
Mr. Thierry Repentin’s participation in the General Affairs Council meeting (Luxembourg, April 22, 2013)


Mr. Laurent Fabius’s participation in the meeting of the Friends of the Syrian People group in Istanbul (April 20, 2013)

Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, will participate in the meeting of the Friends of the Syrian People group which will take place in Istanbul tomorrow. This meeting follows on from the one that took place in Rome on February 28. This meeting will take place in the presence of the leaders of the Syrian National Coalition, including its president, Mr. Moaz al-Khatib, and General Salim Idriss, Chief of Staff of the Free Syrian Army.

While the Syrian tragedy continues and the number of victims of the crackdown continues to rise, the international community’s mobilization must be sustained. This meeting will therefore provide an opportunity to confirm the support of the countries that are friends of the Syrian people for the Syrian National Coalition and its restructuring and consolidation efforts.

The minister of foreign affairs will reaffirm France’s commitment alongside the Syrian people, both to help the populations in distress and the refugees, and at the political level, to increase pressure on the Damascus regime in order to swiftly initiate a political transition.

 

Firing of rockets on southern Israel

France strongly condemns the firing of rockets in recent days against the population of southern Israel.

It calls for the respect of the ceasefire agreed upon at the end of November.

 

Mr. Thierry Repentin’s participation in the Foreign Affairs Council meeting (Luxembourg, April 22, 2013)

Mr. Thierry Repentin, Minister Delegate for European Affairs, will represent France at the next EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting, which will take place on April 22 in Luxembourg and will be chaired by Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

The EU’s southern neighborhood will be a major topic of discussion, in particular the situation in Syria following the meeting of the Friends of the Syrian People group in Istanbul on April 20. The Council will return to the question of lifting the arms embargo and easing the oil embargo in order to revitalize economic activity in the liberated zones. The ministers will also discuss the political situation in Lebanon and Egypt.

They will also adopt conclusions on developments in the political situation in Mali and cooperation with this country, in light of the discussions under way in New York on the establishment of a stabilization force in the country. Conclusions on developments in the political situation in Burma will also be adopted, notably providing for the lifting of sanctions against Burma (excluding the embargo on arms and equipment that can be used for internal repression).

The ministers will also discuss the Eastern Partnership, in preparation for the Eastern Partnership Ministerial Meeting on July 22 and the Eastern Partnership Summit to be hosted by the future Lithuanian presidency in Vilnius from November 28 to 29.

Lastly, relations between the EU and the regional organizations will be discussed with a view toward improving cooperation with the latter.

Ms. Ashton is due to give the ministers a brief update of the results of the dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo and the E3+3 talks with Iran in Almaty.

This session will be preceded by a working lunch on the external dimension of the European energy policy in the presence of European Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger, in preparation for the European Council meeting on May 22, 2013.

 

Mr. Thierry Repentin’s participation in the General Affairs Council meeting (Luxembourg, April 22, 2013)

Mr. Thierry Repentin, Minister Delegate for European Affairs, will represent France at the General Affairs Council meeting, which will take place on April 22 in Luxembourg.

On this occasion, the ministers will have an initial discussion on preparations for the European Council on May 22, focusing in particular on the European energy policy and the fight against fraud and tax evasion.

The ministers will also further examine the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020 and the negotiations that are getting under way with the European Parliament on the agreement reached by the European Council on February 7 and 8.

The Council will also discuss the enlargement of the EU and will address the situation of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), based on the report issued on April 17 by the Commission. The ministers will also review the ongoing dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo under the auspices of Ms. Ashton.